Aug 14, 2016
Dear SDN,

I was wondering if you could advise me regarding my pre-med required courses. I attended university when I was 16, I took pre-med courses like 9 years ago, without knowing that one day I will be interested in medicine, so I did poorly on those but I have rising GPA trend.

I am a Canadian citizen and earned my bachelor and master degree in Canada.

I have 6 years of university athlete membership and 7 years as a MFR in ambulance.

My MCAT score is not competitive at all ( 500) , but i am planning to re-write it. At the same time, I want to strengthen my application by taking either post-bac if I can ( I know it is for those with no science degree) or taking another undergrad (which might not be beneficial since there is no guarantee) .

Any help with strengthening my academic profile would be appreciated.


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All MCAT scores are carefully considered. The AAMC recommends that we average multiple scores. Graduate school grades are not a significant factor at most MD schools and do not remediate a weak undergraduate performance. You will need to calculate your AMCAS and AACOMAS gpa's to see where you stand. Links can be found on the sticky that precedes this forum (look for Helpful Hints). Aim to apply once with your strongest possible application as re-applicants are viewed "differently." This is different from Canada.
For an MD application, do not re-take the MCAT until you are confident that you will get a much better score! Two weak scores are far worse than one. This is also different from Canada. The median MCAT for the 140 successful applicants (in 2016) whose legal residence was outside the US was 33.6. This corresponds to about a 514 on the new test. The median gpa was 3.77. These scores are significantly higher than those of the total pool for whom the MCAT was 31.4 and gpa was 3.7.

The fastest (and most promising) path for you is an application to the dozen or so DO schools that consider internationals. They allow you to re-take the courses you did poorly in and only count the most recent score in the gpa. They are much more tolerant of modest gpa's and MCAT scores. Some of them strongly recommend a DO letter.

As you can see, you are very far from a successful bid at a US MD school and depending on your AACOMAS gpa, you may need quite a bit of work for a strong DO cycle, as well.
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